2016 Mazda CX-9 vs. Its Competition

2016 Mazda CX-9
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The competition is especially tough this year for three-row crossover utility vehicles.

The Honda Pilot has transformed itself from a boxy, somewhat roughly finished family crossover to one that’s simply better detailed all around, with the best third-row seat in the class.

The Toyota Highlander is a close second, and offers 4-cylinder and hybrid models to boot.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a somewhat more curvaceous alternative, with a pleasant ride and impressive feature set.

The Ford Explorer offers a turbo-4 and moderate off-road ability, though crash-test scores have a major flaw or two.

Finally, the Volvo XC90 is the pick of the crossover pack this year for those who want to splurge a little; like the CX-9, it’s a little sportier and has some grand aspirations.

2016 Mazda CX-92016 Mazda CX-9
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2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package2017 Ford Explorer
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2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport2017 Hyundai Santa Fe
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2016 Honda Pilot2016 Honda Pilot
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2016 Toyota Highlander2016 Toyota Highlander
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Quick Specs
7.8
The 2016 Mazda CX-9 has sharp handling and sleek looks, but falls a bit shy in features and third-row space.
6.7
The 2017 Ford Explorer adds a sport appearance package and Sync 3, both of which are important to today's SUV buyers.
7.5
The restyled 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport looks sharp, inside and out. We can't help but wonder what the model could do with a slightly improved powertrain lineup.
8.8
The 2016 Honda Pilot has axed its hard edges: it's once again a smooth, capable family wagon, one that raises the bar for refinement.
8.2
The 2016 Toyota Highlander isn't all that exciting to look at or to drive, but it's very versatile and handsome enough to be a great minivan alternative.
MSRP From    
$31,520$31,660$25,350$30,345$30,490
Gas Mileage    
21 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class    
Small Sport Utility Vehicles 2WDStandard Sport Utility Vehicles 2WDSmall Sport Utility Vehicles 2WDSmall Sport Utility Vehicles 2WDSmall Sport Utility Vehicles 2WD
Style Name    
FWD 4-Door SportBase FWD2.4L Automatic2WD 4-Door LXFWD 4-Door I4 LE (GS)
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
77588
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility
Transmission    
Automatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2016 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2017 Ford Explorer2016 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe2016 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2016 Honda Pilot2016 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2016 Toyota Highlander